Justin Elliott writes at Salon:
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Donald Trump’s claim that he dispatched private investigators to Hawaii to look into President Obama’s birth has been repeatedly printed as fact in the media despite zero evidence that he has done any such thing.
Here, for example, is how CNN is playing Trump’s comments, which he made Thursday on the “Today” show:
The CNN lead goes like this:
Self-proclaimed birther Donald Trump is now so doubtful of President Obama’s birthplace that he’s sent a team of his own investigators to Hawaii in hopes of getting to the bottom of the issue.
That’s according to Trump himself, who, in an interview with NBC, warned his investigators just might uncover “one of the greatest cons in the history of politics and beyond.”
This is stenographic journalism at its worst. The problem is that Trump has historically not been a credible source. He has a history of making disputed claims about his net worth as well as perennially flirting with presidential candidacies before reliably pulling out.